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Marquette City Commission limits public gatherings to 250 people or less

MARQUETTE — The Marquette City Commission unanimously approved a resolution at its virtual Monday meeting that limits outdoor public gatherings in the city to 250 people or less due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The resolution places a moratorium on zoning permits or any other permits related to outdoor gatherings in excess of 250 people for 90 days, until the governor’s orders are more relaxed or until the state and city have entered phase six of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s reopening plan.

COVID-19 cases are increasing locally and it’s important to “tighten the dial,” Mayor Pro Tem Jenn Hill said.

“As was said at a previous meeting, we are not in any way going beyond the governor’s executive order. What this does is make absolutely clear to anyone in the community that we need to follow this executive order to be safe,” Hill said. “Our numbers are going up … Unfortunately, we need to have more social distancing, even outside.”

Other commissioners expressed their support for the resolution, noting it could protect public health.

“I think it’s important. It’s a good message the city can send,” Commissioner Fred Stonehouse said. “It’s a good way we can build for the future if we have to expand it or change it. So I certainly am very supportive of taking this action.”

This resolution was needed after the Fourth of July crowds at McCarty’s Cove and recent requests for special event permits, Commissioner Evan Bonsall said.

“It’s important that we’re treating everybody fairly and that we’re taking COVID-19 seriously,” Bonsall said. “We’re trying to do everything we can as a city to reduce and minimize the transmission of the virus, especially with local cases increasing. So I strongly support the resolution.”

Jackie Jahfetson can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 248. Her email address is jjahfetson@miningjournal.net.

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